Stevenson dumps Lake Zurich

By Rusty Silber
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 2/11/2020 10:18 PM

Stevenson's boys basketball team kept its spot on top of the North Suburban Conference Tuesday night and set up a first-place showdown with Mundelein on Friday.

Matt Ambrose scored 14 points, including four 3-pointers and 4 steals, and RJ Holmes added 13 points, 13 rebounds and a couple of blocked shots in three quarters of play on Tuesday night.


Stevenson rolled past visiting Lake Zurich 48-24 in an NSC game in Lincolnshire.

The Patriots (19-4, 9-1) were coming off a big win over Loyola Academy in a game played at Northwestern University on Saturday afternoon in what could be a potential supersectional matchup next month.

"We took care of business. It was a home game and a conference game against a good team," Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose said. "We had to dial it in. We had a good practice on Monday and got enough shots to fall against a good defense."

Stevenson is well aware about the teams in the NSC and you have to be ready each and every game no matter you play.

"To win and survive the conference, we know that you have to win the games," Ambrose said. "This was a game that was in front of us. We talked about we had four days to get ready for Loyola and we had only one day to concentrate on Lake Zurich If we had seven days, we could've played better and we could've played worse trying to concentrate more on Lake Zurich. So, we had a turnaround pretty quickly."

On Tuesday, the Patriots came out shooting right away, jumped out to an early lead and hit the boards too.

Stevenson led 13-7 after the opening quarter and outscored Lake Zurich (7-16, 2-8) 14-4 in the second for a 27-11 lead at the break,

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Holmes scored 10 of his 13 points in the first half and had some height advantage over the Bears.

"My teammates were looking for me," Holmes said.

"Especially, we had the advantage size-wise and with athleticism. That was our game plan. Games like these, weekdays, before big games on Friday, you can easily overlook, but we tried to lock in (Tuesday) and really get our game plan set."

The Patriots let their defense take over in the third as they outscored the Bears 13-2 and led 40-13.

Lake Zurich had three players -- Noah Deluga, Evan Bajerski and Brady Orton -- lead the team with 5 points a piece.

Assistant coach Mike Kolze filled in for the head coach Terry Coughlin, who just had an addition to his family with a baby girl over the weekend.

"(Stevenson) was really good, a good team and all five of their starters scored some points," Kolze said.

"They made it tough especially with our zone. They have a bunch of shooters and they play hard, great together. Obviously, Pat (Ambrose) is a great coach. He has them well prepared and they run a lot of great action against our zone."

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